Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke & Star Trek on Penultimate Fringe

Well, they threw in the science fictional kitchen sink on the penultimate first season episode of Fringe tonight - a fine and fanciful thing, if, like me, you love science fiction - as well some media-history science fiction concerning the phonograph, which also appeals to the media historian part of me.

King's pyrokinesis - the capacity to create fires through sheer mental focus - was mentioned by name, Clarke's Childhood's End (one of my childhood and still favorites) is on the bookshelf of a victim who can't control her pyrokinetic powers, and there's a guy who thinks he's Spock. (I predict some sort of recondite, glimmering connection to Fringe in the new Star Trek movie, which I'll be seeing this Friday. J. J. Abrams across space and time.)

And the story was crackerjack sharp on Fringe tonight, too. Peter builds a device to help Walter make digital copies of his old vinyl records, and this device is able to recover sound - speech and a cellphone number - from a molten window. As I pointed out in in my media history and future The Soft Edge, and worked into the story in my science fiction The Silk Code, the phonograph is at basis a very old technological process, in no need of electricity. Conceivably, ancient potters could have captured ambient sound in the clay they were molding....

Olivia also finally gets rid of the irritating FBI official who is trying to drum her out of business. Well, actually, he's working for bad guys, and Olivia doesn't plan to kill him, it just happens when she gets one of his intended victims to focus her fire-starting power away from Olivia and her, and it ends up burning up the FBI guy.
Good riddance to bad luggage.

But who, really, are the bad guys. Lots of things are pointing to William Bell, whom we'll meet next week, but it's pretty clear, I think, that Bell is just trying to prepare to fend off the real baddies ....


Nah, I don't think J. J. Abrams would go that far. But the eternal bald observer has collected Walter, and we should find out something about where they're going next week, in the Season 1 finale...

8-min podcast review of Fringe penultimate

See also Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

more about The Plot to Save Socrates...

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